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Saw "Arc" flash from old "outlet" Boyfriend/Homeowner doesn't care. Help!

Saw "Arc" flash from old "outlet" Boyfriend/Homeowner doesn't care. Help!

Old 12-09-14, 02:24 AM
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Question Saw "Arc" flash from old "outlet" Boyfriend/Homeowner doesn't care. Help!

I am concerned for the house I am living in. My boyfriend owns a 1950s split level.
200 amp service, but everything old and some shoddy looking work overall.

My boyfriend was running the dishwasher in the kitchen and I heard weird buzz in other room. I saw a flash from side of panel. He says he saw a blue spark on the front.
I sort of freaked and told bf to shut off dishwasher to stop chance of further sparking/arcing.
He actually thought the whole thing was funny and told me to relax and argued he wanted to leave ON the dishwasher to see what happened next.

After much begging, he turned it off and the buzzing in other room stopped.

Thing is, we just had safety check from electrical service off of angie's list 3 days ago because I had noticed lights 'pulsing' while running things like our Sous Vide cooker and tosater oven.

The dude who checked everything told me that lights starting to pulse throughout the entire house wasn't worrisome.

He went off on a tangent that electricity is like water.

That's all nice and good but didnt explain why the lights throughout the house all started to flicker when running the washer / dishwasher / sous vide (not all at once)

We're calling him to come back after this flash, spark and hum.
(free of charge I am asking)

Any suggestions on what caused this ?? Thanks!
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Old 12-09-14, 04:14 AM
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Welcome to the forums! With electrical problems, you are justified in your concerns. The item you refer to is your door bell transformer. Where you saw the blue spark was the low voltage side, but what concerns me is the spark from the "LINE" side, which is full house voltage. It would be a good idea to have someone check the connections inside the box. It may be something as innocuous as a loose connection or wire nut, but it could be problematic if left unattended. Flickering of lights is not normal. When a large appliance turns on, such as a refrigerator, light can and do dim a little, but they return to their normal brightness in a second or so. I have no idea what the black box on the wall is, but it is turned off at that switch.

If Angie's list sent you an "electrician" as opposed to a handy man, then he should be taking more care with his work. Ask to see documentation of his electrical license. He may not be qualified to do the work.
Old 12-09-14, 04:35 AM
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I am thinking the person that came in might have trouble pouring water out of a boot with instructions written on the heel. The constant pulsing is not normal and the cause needs to be found.

The DW should be on a dedicated circuit.

You were right to have the circuit turned off until the problem can be found. You don't want to be living is a tent after a possible fire.
Old 12-09-14, 07:11 AM
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The black box looks like a mechanical timer or a disconnect switch -- outdoor lighting maybe? Does it have a door that swings open?

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